tv MSNBC Live MSNBC March 23, 2017 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
we weren't asking for a deal. the president -- >> reporter: you wouldn't call the essential health care benefits package a deal? >> some of them would. some stood up and said, president, we're with you. a lot said, we're going to go back and think about it. the meeting didn't conclude by saying, we have a deal. that isn't -- >> reporter: was a final offer put forward -- >> no, this was a discussion the president continues to have. i think we have been very, very pleased with the direction it's going and the number of members who have expressed their support for it. we'll continue that discussion with the tuesday group. but we -- the number is growing, the number of members, who have shared concerns. and i think that we have been very responsive as well as speaker ryan to the concerns and ideas that members have expressed from across the spectrum. >> reporter: two clarifications. you said there's only plan "a." at this point is there an acknowledgment there needs to be a plan "b" if this doesn't work?
>> no. >> reporter: the president ask speaker ryan to delay the vote while -- >> no. steve? >> reporter: i was giving you the opportunity to respond to what leader pelosi said. she said it's a rookie mistake to set a date for a bill before there's consensus in the republican caucus. >> thank you. i appreciate that. i think we have a strong record on the republican side of getting bills passed, getting things done. so, i -- i know that they have a pretty strong record of passing things and telling people they can read the bill afterwards. i think we've done this the right way. and i think we know that weave do we've done it with the support members told the president they wanted. >> reporter: there are some former white house lawyers who served in the prior administration who say that by tweeting from his official potus account this morning a video
that was put out on official social media channels the president in the white house violated the anti-lobbying law because they're using mope appropriated by congress. is that a concern you guys appreciate? something that's been talked about? >> it is not. the president -- it doesn't -- that is not applicable to the president, no. so, there is no -- i mean, i believe you're referring to u.s. code 18-19. i think we're pretty good on it. >> reporter: the president wrote "the art of the deal." if this deal does not pass, would he accept the blame for its failure? if not, who would? >> let's get to the vote tonight. i'm not going to start -- i think the president has done a phenomenal job. there's no question, i think when you look at the effort he's put in, the number of meetings he's had and the changes to the bill, there's no question how hard the president and his team, the vice president have worked, to get this done. it's in response -- at the end of the day, we can't force
somebody to vote but i think as i mentioned to hallie and a couple other folks, i like the direction this thing is going. i think we continue to see support go with us. we're not seeing people fall off. we're seeing people come on board. that's a great trajectory to have, so i like where we're headed. >> two quick clarifications on previous answers. i think the issue not what the president has done but what white house staffers were doing with their twitter accounts. >> so you want me to answer that one? >> let me read from you from u.s. code 18. the department of justice has consistently construed the anti-lobbying personally undertaken by the president, aides and assistants wth within the executive office. president, vice president, cabinet members within their areas and responsibility and senate confirmed officials appointed bit president. there's clearly a carve out. next. >> when you're talking about the bird rule earlier, can we read
from your answer that vice president pence doesn't plan to overrule? >> it's not a question of overrule up. don't overrule. the senate parliamentarian makes interpretation. it's up to the presiding officer. i understand how the senate works. the senate parliamentarian is asked for guidance. >> if senate parliamentarian is something would violate the bird rule, would vice president pence -- >> i'm not going to answer hypotheticals about what he he may do on this bill or any other. >> reporter: finally, cnn reported yesterday that u.s. officials believe that it's -- are investigating associates of president trump communicated with suspected russian operatives, releasing information damaging hillary clinton's campaign. i wonder if you could respond to that or say definitively they
did not. >> cnn reported anonymous u.s. officials indicated associates of the campaign and suspected operatives coordinated which they is not conclusive boardering on collusion. the fbi cannot conclude collusion took place. there's more evidence the cnn colluded with the clinton campaign to give her questions. so what it comes down to that reporting it's filled with subjecttive terms about this person may have done, this possibly could have done this. at end of the story f you wait until the bottom, it says the fbi could not yet verify collusion took place. i've addressed this type of reporting in the past. this fits right in. john? >> reporter: without getting too deep in the weeds on exactly what this strategy is in the senate to get the amend the bill through the birdbath, is the president confident the strategy developed in the senate will result in a bill that can pass muster? >> yes.
>> reporter: and the president told us several weeks thatf it looked like the democrats were gointo filibuster judge gorsuch, he would encourage mitch mcconnell to invoke the nuclear opposite. has the president's position on that changed at all? >> the president has not spoken to senator mcconnell yet. i think senator schumer within the last hour or so came out with his position. i'm sure after we get through tonight, the president will have some kind of consideration with senator mcconnell and discuss senate strategy. we're not there yet. >> following up on jordan's question and i have a follow-up on hallie's questions. how did chairman nunes -- >> she had four. >> how did chairman nunes end up at the white house this yesterday? this morning he said he invited himself here. that's kind of an uncommon way to end he up here. can you take us through it? >> no, i can't. i assume in a car. i also don't track him. i don't keep his schedule either. >> reporter: have you spoken
addition. >> no. he said i'm going down to the white house after i brief the press. >> reporter: when was the first time the president was made aware of the surveillance- >> i believe the information he shared with the president was new. >> reporter: follow-up on health care. any plan on if the bill doesn't pass tonight? >> no. it's going to pass so that's it. >> reporter: now that you've been briefed, i know yesterday you hadn't been, everything had just happened, can you say if the information that nunes this is the same information that the president said he had that would be revealed this week? >> we're not -- there's -- my understanding, because i was not briefed on the contents of that, was that he spoke generally about what he had seen in these reports that he had been made privy to. but that there was further dpee tails details he wanted the president to know what he had seen and it wasn't related to russia. he's continuing, as all of his public comments, is that he's going to continue to pursue this
and they'll have further updates later. i'm not aware of the specific nature of it. >> reporter: what would the president's reaction be to republicans who vote against the health care bill tonight? are they being encouraged to vote their conscience? >> i think eye addressed this before. i think the president's made very clear that republicans in particular have made a commitment to constituents and the american people that if given the opportunity to have a republican president or republican senate and republican house, that they would enact a repeal and replace and put into it health care. he believes, as he mentioned during when he met with the house conference, as he mentioned with the members of the freedom caucus today, and i think in several meetings, this is something weave talked about. you've taken a bunch of these free votes when it didn't matter because you didn't have a republican president and you got to vote for repeal and go back and tell your constituents something like 50 times. this is a live ball now. this is for real and we're going to do what we pledge to the
american people and keep our word. he's made it very clear that part of the reason that he got elected is because he went out and made a series of bold pledges to the american people about what he would do if he were president. he's acting on those. he's acting swiftly and boldly with respect to this in particular. d that heieves that not just him, but the members of the house and senate have an obligation to fulfill the promise and pledge they made to the american people. cecilia? >> reporter: regardless of what happens tonight, will we hear from the president? will he come out and make a statement? >> i think it depends on what time the vote is. i don't want to commit -- i'm assure in some way, shape, or form we'll have some kind of comment. >> reporter: similar to the question you were asked here, but is the president no matter what happens prepared to take responsibility for the outcome of this bill? >> reporte >> in what way? >> reporter: whether it succeedses or fails. his name is on it. a lot of people think so. >> i think in the sense we've been very clear about this is a priority of ours and we worked with them.
again, i go back to -- at the end of the day, we can't make people vote. we've done everything we can to listen to them, to incorporate their thoughts, to incorporate their ideas to make the bill the best we can. it's a balancing act, make no mistake about it. there's a full spectrum of folks in the house that have despirit desires. i think we can all commit this is the one vehicle that's going to repeal something that almost every single republican that i'm aware of has pledged to do if they were re-elected or elected. and i think there's a -- a desire to -- that will we understand that not every member will find this perfect? that's what haphen you ed to get in this case 216 votes. but it's the best bill that takes into consideration all of the concerns and all of the goals and all of the values. i understand that in a lot of cases, some of it isn't a question of the policy. it's a question of the timing and some of the things people
want that are happening in phase three and phase one. as we've addressed the bird rule, which is, you know, to most people this arcane thing, probably even in the house, that don't have to deal with it in the senate. that deals with whether or not -- and if there is -- if it is loaded up with things that are stricken, it doesn't serve us any good. i think we've put together a very comprehensive approach to addressing how to actually repeal and actually replace. i think the president walked through with the house freedom caucus today several of the administrative acts that secretary price would be taking in authority granted to him by obamacare legislation and some actions secretary sa bee lus took in 20 on the. there's a lot of concern among members about sequencing on things. i think we have continued to not -- this isn't just about policy. some is about sequencing and timing. the president and vice president and the rest of the team have done a lot to assure them on the
sequencing and how this thing will act. i think it's productive to ensure members how this will happen and take place. >> you said members of the house freedom caucus said there were nos and some said, president, i'm with you. can you tell us their names and how many there were? >> not yet. i'm not trying to be cute about this. as we do the whip count, as you can imagine, we've got to make sure we don't -- that this balancing act, and you've got to now make sure certain people don't fall off the end as you pick up other people. so we're keeping that vote total rather tight right now but i feel buoyed by the direction we're headed in. >> reporter: can you tell me about the specific offer that was made? there's been reporting the final offer was put on the table for these guys.
what specific changes did the president offer them today that -- >> it's not just changes. part of this is some of the administrative stuff and making sure they have reassurances that certain things that addition that secretary sebelius when she enacted the bill will be enacted upon immediately. so there's remuneration on some of those things and support given for phase three, buying across state lines, ahas, there was a lot of talk about that. that's where a lot of this comes down to right now. they feel very good about the changes that have been made in the major amendment. there's some question about the commitment and changes that might take place in the senate. so, there was a lot of, can we count on this when this happens? so, i just want to -- you know, some of this is working that
way. >> reporter: thank you very much. two questions, please. as for 68 countries that are presenting against terrorism or against isis at the state department under the leadership of secretary of state tillerson, there was adviser to the president of afghanistan, here speaking at csis and also the day before yesterday at delegate counsel, addressing mr. rue roubani, foreign minister of afghanistan. what are you saying or addressing against these two that unless we control two countries who are financing and training, saudi arabia financing in the name of charities and pakistan is training, so what did the president send message
to this group at the same time mr. sayed wanted by the u.s., $10 million bounty on him, and he's openly spilling hatred against united states. >> secretary tillerson has been going through this meeting with 68 of those members that are committed to addressing syria and isis. i'm not going to get ahead of the internal discussions secretary tillerson is having related to the administration's review of syria's policy in particular. but i would stay in touch with the state department on that. john? >> reporter: one more question, please. as for american communities consent 40 years, it was 1976 when spiritual leader came all the way from india to new york city and he wanted to have a parade in india and new york but they didn't have any resources
or sources but mr. trump at that time, donald trump came out and had the group to go on this. [ inaudible ] same group who had been now at the white house this weekend, peaceful prayer and meal. they're asking the president to come out and meet the indian-american community against hate crime or somebody from the white house. >> i think weave discussed the nature of hate crimes in the past and weave condemned the act that happened in kansas earlier this year. obviously, i'm sure that this is a very important issue for them. the president's right now focused in particular on getting obamacare repealed and replaced. the issue in london -- there's a lot that's occupying his time. i'm sure that we will continue to monitor that situation as well. mara? maybe some day.
we'll see. >> reporter: health benefits. the president said to tucker carlson that he wasn't -- if his people weren't taken kacare, he wasn't going to sign anything. i wonder what he says to people who voted for him who rely on provisions for opioid addiction, things included if that if they go away? >> respectfully, that's a false choice. the problem with obamacare is it took all benefits, mandated they had to be offered. it spiked insurance rates, spiked deductibles and choices went away. the choice isn't making benefit go away. it's offering options to people. it's like any other service or product we have here in this country where you can buy what you want. sometimes it's at a lower price point because that's what you can afford. sometimes you buy features on a product because you want those features. sometimes you determine you don't -- but people should have choice in the health care market just the same way they do in
almost of other industry. that's the point it's not about giving or taking. it's about the point they're being mandated in a way. that's the point. people should buy what they want and what is appropriate for themselves or their family. >> reporter: right now where do the essential benefits -- >> they're part of the house bill. alexis? >> reporter: just to follow up on mara's question. i think part of the -- her question was people buy insurance not knowing what they need. >> if you're an older manou can generally say you don't need maternity care. >> reporter: that's possible. here's the question mara was suggesting. drug addiction and open yoid, you don't buy insurance and say, i need that backup coverage because i'm going to get addicted to painkillers or opiod drugs. so will they be offered by insurance companies on their own
volition? >> i think, there's a market for things. i don't think you buy insurance for anything, alexis, saying, hey, i assume if my house burns down, i need to replace all these things. you buy insurance -- that's the whole point of insurance. and i think when people look at it, they're going to buy what they may not need but evaluate it. that's the same thing when you look at a retirement plan or car insurance or anything else. you evaluate what your needs are and then make the decision what's best for you or your family. sara? [ inaudible ] >> reporter: president trump did not collude with russian operatives? >> say the first part again? >> reporter: can you say unequivocally that associates -- >> again, with all due -- this is -- the way that the term associates is flown around, i don't know what that means. if you're talking about employees of the campaign, employees of the transition and white house, that's one thing. the way this term associates gets thrown out and, again, we talked about this yesterday, you
pull out a gentleman who was employed by someone for fife months and talk about a client he had ten years ago. no i can'tnequivocally say no one in his past who may or may not have come in contact with him, sat with him on a plane, or grew up with him in grade school -- >> reporter: paul man amotafort chaem -- >> i understand. i am well aware of paul. the point i'm making is when you use a term like associate and you use all these subjective terms, there's a reason you're doing it, which is because you don't have anything concrete. if you do, come back to me and ask, does anyone in the white house, is anyone in the transition, but when you throw out a vague term like that, it's a catch-all. can you be certain no one who works for time life turner has never done anything illegal? that's a broad way of casting a net or visited the building. that's what you're saying. >> reporter: on the question of
anonymous sources, you have an issue with the way they've been used amongst intelligence officials but people in this white house are in background. devin nunes has used an anonymous source to present his intelligence report. why is it acceptable in that case -- >> there are two issues. what i have a problem with, in specific with reporting your network did yesterday is it was one subjective term after another. it was associates that may or may not be there. all addition one subjective term after another with no concrete proof that anything happened. when you use a term like associates, you don't even put a time frame around it. it's a little nebulous at bes that someone making a claim the way you do and narrative continues without any substan shags. when you're talking about nunes, someone dealing with classified information can't go out in public and reveal certain things. >> reporter: he said the information wasn't classified. >> no, that's not what he said. i don't think he ever said it
wasn't classified. >> reporter: he said he was able to talk about it because it wasn't classified. >> he's able to talk about the subject, not the specifics. the sources, methods and individuals. a lot of the individuals who have been masked or unmasked are supposed to be classified. so, just because something has gone into the public domain doesn't make it any less unclassified. that's the problem. >> reporter: the nuclear posture review is commencing with this administration. can you assure you that everything is on the table, including a lifting of a moratorium on nuclear weapons testing and also developing new nuclear warheads? >> i don't have a full readout on that at this point. i'll get back to you or someone from the nsc get back to you. >> reporter: you keep saying there's not a plan "b" for health care. president trump has repeatedly said republicans should just allow obamacare to collapse because democrats will own that and, therefore, maybe we
shouldn't do anything about it but it's not fair to the american people to do that. is the reason there's not a plan "b" is because the president's plan is to allow obamaca to coapse? >> no, the president's plan i to pass the bill tonight, get it onto the senate and then sign a bill once it goes to conference. that's the president's plan. that's why the president's been fighting for it, that's why the president has been trying to make it stronger and stronger every day. but i think he states a very clear reality. if it doesn't do this, it is a false choice to compare what we're doolg doing with obamacare because obamacare is collapsing. the premiums are skyrocketing, choices are going down, deductibles are going up. there's no equivalency. we're trying to get rid of it to help the american people. the expedient answer is to do nothing but for the sake of the american people and the needs they have in terms of health care, we owe it to them to do the right thing. >> reporter: on a follow-up question. who is the president holding accountable for split in the
republican party not being able to get this bill done, the struggle it's taking to get the votes last minute? is he holding republican leadership, paul ryan, responsible for bringing a bill to the table without having consensus from the freedom caucus or is he holding the freedom -- >> we're not focused on blaming. we're foam focused on getting ie and winning. >> reporter: you criticize the president trump for the way he sold obamacare and there may be some validity to that. >> thank you. >> reporter: but candidate trump, president-elect trump and now president trump have been selling this legislation as coverage for everybody, lower premiums, lower deductibles and be better health care. >> thank you. >> reporte hn't he put republicans on the spot f seblg it? >> yes. thank you r the advertisement. i appreciate it.
>> reporter: it can't do that -- >> of course it will do that. that's the point. a, i think there is some concern, as i mentioned earlier, about the timing. and i think we have continued to allay a lot of those concerns. because of the rules that they are. again, one of the things that is tough to explain -- or not tough to explain but just the reality is if we don't do it the way we're going to do it, we need 60 votes. we're not going to get 60 votes in the senate for this bill. the democrats are united in stopping any progress being made on this. and so i think the point we've had to make over and over again, in a perfect world, we could do this with much more comprehensive strategy. the same way democrats use reconciliation, as do we. the reason it's a three-pronged, three-phase approach is because of the nature it has to get dealt with. for a lot of folks, many are new to the process. many of them want to see it done
a different way. i think we're trying to do it in the most responsible wap so when it gets sent to the senate we don't have to have a huge parliamentary fight with what is a byrd-able or not. while many people don't want to fully preciate the nuances of that, it's a reality we have to phase if we want to get it done. that makes a big, big difference. >> yesterday when chairman nunes was here, we heard his comments today, he apologized to the committee for not coming to them before he went to the president. he expressed regret for going public and president before speaking to members of his own committee. my question, why was it appropriate? why does the white house believe it was appropriate for chairman nunes to give this information to the president regarding an investigation about the president's own associates during the campaign? >> two things. one, as has been asked where, to ask me why he did something -- hold on.
you're getting there. i've seen enough of you, peter. i know where you were going. i know where you were going. the reality is he made a decision. he briefed the press first. no one had a problem, by the way, in the press corps getting briefed before anybody else. he briefed your colleagues before briefing anybody else. i don't hear too much crying about that. in reality he said i'm going to come down to the white house and share this information with the president. as has been noted. he didn't give us a heads up. he made an announcement, i'm coming down to the white house. to be clear to your question is to specifically say there's a big difference between any discussion about what's going on in russia and why this intelligence was picked up. his comments yesterday were very clear. the intelligence and information he picked up had nothing to do with ruchssia. he felt, accord fog his own words, he had an obligation to
make sure the president knew what he had discovered. that's it. plain and simple. >> reporter: to be clear, just because appearances matter on this, doesn't the white house have a concern that it creates the appearance there was potentially interference by the president that he was included in comments about the investigation before it was completed? >> my concern, to be perfectly blunt with you, is that it's always -- you seem to have an obsession with the process and not the substance. at some point -- no, no, hold on. >> reporter: the president is the one who wants the conclusion. he asked for it. why did he ask for details before it's completed? >> as chairman nunes said and i'll make it clear, because he said he wanted to make it very clear that the discussion and the revelations that he had were not -- did not regard anything to do with russia and he wanted the president to understand that. but there seems to be this obsession with the process. you know, how did he get here? when did he go? what was the reaction? at some point there should be a concern about the substance. that's a very serious revelation
that he's made about what happened during the 2016 election during our side. and some of the things that happened. at some point i would implore, urge, beg, some of you to use your investigative skills to find out what actually did happen, why did it happen, what was going on back there, who knew wha when. i think there suld be a similar concern as opposed t whether he took a skateboard or car here to exactly what happened and why it happened. the reality is that whether he briefed us first or he briefed the democratic members, and that's up to him to decide, the substance of what he shared should be troubling to everybody. that's what i think is the important thing. >> reporter: to follow-up. cpac president trump said people shouldn't be allowed to use sources without using people's names. it does a tremendous disservice. following up with the conversation. the simple question is, chairman nunes came out, he noted sources that he couldn't create and
provide publicly. so, why when it's politically advantageous is that use of sourcing out but when it's politically damaging it's not okay? >> i think there's a -- he came out and briefed people on what he knew at the time. and said he was literally going to get further briefs and would have further updates. that's a big difference than reporting and making a serious allegation. in fact, he was doing quite the opposite. he was vindicating the president and saying, there is something you need to know about the substance of the allegations that are being made against you and that may or may not be the case because some of what addition. >> reporter: wouldn't it have been just as important for the president to learn? >> sure. i think then you wouldn't have any concern with that, would you? >> reporter: my question is to you -- >> margaret. >> reporter: two questions. you said again the word vindicated. the psident said he felt somewhat vindicated. if he feel having chairman nunes come down here helped his own credibility? >> i think it's reassuring to know that what he discussed -- well, again, the chairman made
it very clear that he's not final in any of his processes that what he had seen so far gave him grave concern, or whatever the exact phrase, before i get -- you know, to the -- to use the phrase chairman nunes said that he gave him concern and cause for what he had seen and wanted the president to be aware of the activity he had seen that occurred during the transition period. i think that's an important -- so, i think, yes, the president did -- it was helpful for the president to know that the investigation, as he had asked for, was starting to bear fruit. i think the equally important thing to note about yesterday was part of what chairman nunes said was that it had nothing to do with these allegations and narrative about russia. i think that is a very, very important narrative to be clear on. >> reporter: are they going to meet again? and after the conversations, since they spoke directly, did
the president accept chairman nunes' finding that there was no wiretapping at trump tower, which he said yesterday? >> well, one, i don't think -- the first one wasn't planned. there's nothing planned for the chairman to come down again. second of all, i think i have and president has clearly explained that the tweet wasn't to be taken literal in the sense of the word wiretap. he was talking about surveillance in general. yes, i think -- yes, once -- what chairman nunes said is that there was evidence of surveillance that occurred during that -- during the election. i think that is important to note. again, i think the obsession is with the process of how he got here, what time he left and who he briefed first as opposed to the substance at issue. but i'm not -- all i'll tell you is the public comments he made to you and your colleagues both here and up on capitol hill was that he was very concerned with the surveillance that he had seen and reports of surveillance of individuals who had been masked and unmasked especially
during the transition period. that should express concern for a lot of individuals. >> reporter: is the president confident chairman nunes can continue to lead this investigation and be impartial -- >> absolutely. >> reporter: -- because there have been questions about that, including from republicans? >> yes. thank you very much. see you tomorrow. have a great one. >> sean spicer finishing up another feisty press conference in the white house press briefing room. two of the main topics. one was health care and the other was chairman devin nunes going to the white house yesterday and briefing the president on wiretapping and surveillance before he had briefed his own committee and his colleague, the ranking member of that committee, adam schiff. there is a lot going on. we've got a lot of reporters and analysts to get to. so many that i'm not going to first, i'm going to our very own kasie hunt, who has been running
to and fro, back and forty, up and down the capitol trying to get answers out of congressmen and women about where they're going to vote on this health care bill. what is the latest, kasie? >> reporter: hey, katy, i apologize if someone wanders through our shot. it's a little bedlam and chaos where we're waiting for the freedom caucus. they're meeting behind closed doors down the way from me. frankly, all signs at this point point to no. we have had several come out and say, look, there's no deal. take a look at what two members of the freedom caucus had to say so far. >> i don't think there can be a vote tonight because they don't have the votes. if there's a vote tonight, it will fail. >> i happen to be the chairman of the freedom caucus, but i am not their conscience nor do i represent their districts. i'm very hopeful, guys, that we can find a way to qule. the speaker, i talked to him earlier today. i acknowledged some of the concerns that he has and so with
some of my more moderate members, i'm trying to work with that. >> reporter: so, they had gone into that meeting. we had talked to patrick mchenry the last time i was talking to you, he said, this is going to be take it or leave it. this is what we're telling them they can have. they came back and said, no go. now it's the moderate's turn as they've been meeting in speaker ryan's office, huddled there. we learned from sean spicer in that meeting they're headed to the white house, or at least been invited to the white house this afternoon. so, all of these concessions to conservatives, of course, have led to a situation where you now have an increasing number of more moderate republicans who have said, look, we are just can't do this. that's put leadership in a tough spot. really hard to see how this gets scheduled tonight. we're going to wait and see, katy, and bring you comments as they come through. >> the deputy whip walking through a sardine can of reporters, which is what it's like literally on capitol hill right now, as congressmen try to
make their way up and count halls and reporters try to get answers on this health care bill. hallie jackson is in the white house press briefing room. hallie, president trump met with the freedom caucus earlier today. there was some word that the white house gave their final -- their final pitch and said this was the final daeal. either get on board or don't. this is all we have. >> reporter: a couple interesting points that came out of the last 45 minutes with sean spicer in the briefing room. the juxtaposition of what kasie is talking about. this idea there may not be a vote tonight. according to sean spicer, there will be a vote. the president is confident this vote is going to happen. 24 hours after we last heard from spicer, there is not going to be a plan "b," despite the fact that as kasie is talking about, our nbc news analysis, our nbc news count shows roughly 31 republicans opposing this bill. what does this do? puts a lot of pressure on the meeting this afternoon of those tuesday group more moderate
conservatives. because if, as we are seeing now, some of these freedom caucus members are not going to get on board, as you heard from, for example, folksike mark meadows, at leasrigh now, then you have to bring the other end of the spectrum on board to get the other end. spicer would not reveal the whip or what he's talking about with the speaker, but he seems confident from the podium that this is going to happen. there is not going to be a plan "b." one other highlight from the briefing room as well on the other topic, big headline we're obviously following, our colleague peter alexander pressing the press secretary about the conversation he had with house intelligence committee chairman devin nunes. sean spicer sort of attacking the media for focusing more he says on process than substance. saying the concern should be the surveillance incidentally collected information and not so much who nunes briefed first and when. as you know, as kasie knows, that is the concern over on capitol hill. it's obviously going to be a day
of a lot of developments. not just on the hill but at the white house as well. the president continuing to meet with lawmakers, try to bring them on board as we look to see when this vote is going to be scheduled and if it's going to happen tonight. >> we'll get to that topic in a moment. first, we to want focus a little more on health care. to talk about that is republican congressman dan donovan of new york who sits on foreign affairs, homeland security contest and standing by our camera patiently waiting for sean spicer to end that briefing and for us to get to him. congressman, big question, where do you stand? >> i have announced to the public, i've announced to leadership yesterday that i'm going to be a no vote. the president and and the speaker have to look at this bill through a different lens than i do. they have 330 million people they're responsible for. i'm responsible for 740,000 people that live in brooklyn and staten island. in my view this does not help
them from the relief of the affordable care act. i'm not a proponent of the affordable care act. it hurt many families. but those families won't see relief from the proposal as it stands now and so many other people will be harmed by it, particularly our seniors and hospitals. >> congressmen, what do your constituents want to see? >> they to wantee relief from the high premiums. i've met a family that pay $20,000 in premiums, $6,000 deductible for family of four. they no longer go to the doctor because they can't afford it. the relief that comes out of here according to the cbo report is in 2026, they'll get a 10% relief which means they'll be $18,000 in premiums. that's not the relief we promised the american people repealing through the affordable care act and replacing it with something better. we have to do better for those people. through this process, speaker ryan, the president, they have listened to everyone. i was at the white house on tuesday, the president asked me what my concerns were.
he asked vice president pence and steve scalise, are any of these addressable in the bill? they've been trying to help us get to yes? speaker ryan -- i've only been here for 22 months. i understand his leadership was a lot more closed. he's listened to everyone's concerns. i just have so many because new york is such a unique place that i can't get to yes. >> congressman, you have a few hours before this vote takes place, if it does take place. is there anything that can happen from now until then that can make you change your mind? >> my four biggest employers in my district, four hospital systems, they'll get crushed with the amot money they'll lose with the proposal before us at this time. my nsing homes will lose millions of dollars. i have great senior population that under the current law, insurance companies could charge them three times as much as they charge a young, healthy person. under the new law they'll be able to charge those seniors five times as much as they charge a young, healthy person.
that's just not fair to our senior population. they're at the time of their lives when they're on limited incomes and they are probably in need of their health care more than they were before this. so, we have to do much better for those people who entrusted us to repair our health care system. >> congressman donovan, i think it's safe to say you're not worried about this vote and voting no will cost your re-election in 2018? >> i've said, if you vote on any bill, including this one because you're concerned what's going to happen to you in 2018, you have to go do something else. you were sent here for a two-year period by the people we represent to do what's in their best interest and that's all i'm ever going to do. >> congressman donovan, appreciate your time, sir. >> thank you. >> let's go back to our panel, specifically michael steele. michael, what happens if this bill is not brought to the floor? secondarily, what happens if it's brought to the floor and
house republicans or paul ryan loses? is this something that will be hung around paul ryan's neck or donald trump's neck? >> i think the white house will hang this around paul ryan's neck, period. the fact they daisht white house from the very beginning has distanced the president from having that close affinity. don't ca it trumpcare nott l. they like to call it ryancare. paul ryan is on the hook. congressman donovan made a very clear case for why this bill is in the trouble it's in. it has very little to do with the president and the paul ryan and very much to do with the constituents these congressmen and women represent. this bill does not repeal obamacare. it never has. it pretends to make that argument. they know that. they cannot go before their communities and say something they know is not true and their people know is not true because of the pay fors and consequences associated in the bill. >> so, michael -- what is the
solution here, is it to make the bill more conservative to appease the freedom caucus or make it more moderate and potentially bring democrats on board and make it more of a fix of obamacare rather than a repeal of it? >> my solution would be to pull the bill and to do regular order and that is to have hearings and have all the stakeholders who have not testified on this bill, who have not given the input, the very hospitals congressman donovan was talking about, they had no say in this bill. the only people that had a say in this bill are the insurance companies. you didn't have doctors, you different have patients, you didn't have pharmaceutical companies weigh in on the impact of undoing something that's been in place for seven years. of something everyone admittedly has a problem with. i fought for the passage of this bill, of obamacare. i don't think it's smart politics to just go and replace it without fully understanding what the long-term impact is going to be. that has not been a part of this discussion. pull the bill down, regroup, get the senate moderates, get the house conservatives in the room,
with the stakeholders and hash out the kind of bill that can go through the congress without the kind of mess you see right now. >> and this is an asuspicious day. affordable care act went into law on this day. i want to read you a partial -- a bit of the president's statement. he said if republicans are serious about lowering cost while expanding coverage to those who need it and if they're prepared to work with democrats and objective evaluators in finding solutions that accomplish those goals, that is something we should all welcome. joel, can democrats work with republicans on this? >> they can if they come up with remedies that actually meet the problems that people have in terms of health care, not fantasize what they've talked about for eight years. right now, republicans are talking about how everyone's listening to each other. the only people they're not listening to is the majority of american people who polls show
do not like the republican health care plan. they're trying to sofl for something that the people don't believe is a problem. 11 million more people have health coverage. that was the problem with the obamacare, affordable care act was trying to fix. what problem are these folks trying to fix? they'll cost millions of people their coverage, reducing basic benefits, whether talking about mammograms, preventive care people need, certain kind of screenings. what problem are they fixing? all they're trying to fix is meet the rhetoric of the last seven years and that's why the public isn't embracing it. that's why they have problems with their moderate and quefshtive members. >> you mentioned a poll. quinnipiac poll shows only 17% of voters support the goep plan to repeal and replace wok obamacare. 56% of voters oppose it. we're going to sneak in quick break right now. on the other side we'll get into russia, wiretapping, devin nunes and all that is going on in washington today that doesn't have to do with health care. stay with us. come on dad!
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♪ ♪ everyone deserves attention, whether you've saved a lot or just a little. at pnc investments, we believe you're more than just a number. so we provide personal financial advice for every retirement investor. doesn't the white house have concern that creates the appearance that there was potentially interference by the president that he was included
in considerations about the investigation before it was completed? >> as chairman nunes said, and i'm going to make it clear, because he said he wanted to make it very clear that the discussion and that the revelations that he had were not regarding additi-- did not rega anything to do with russia and he wanted the president to understand that. but there seems to be this obsession with the process. you know, how degete did he get? how did he go? at some point there needs to be concern about the substance. >> that was peter questioning sean spicer about congressman nunes, who reportedly offered up an apology to members of the house intelligence committee today. it comes after he held a stunning press conference on wednesday during which he ggested the trump administration was surild during the 2016 campaign. the intel committee chairman made the announcement only
moments after briefing the president on the information that he did not share with his democratic colleagues. that bombshell now promising calls on the left and right for nunes to resign. >> i have not seen anything like it. and it's very disturbing. >> perhaps recusing himself from this part of the investigation and the work the committee must do i think is an option. >> i am not confident he can run this committee. >> i am joined by nbc intelligence and national security correspondent kim delaney from washington and michael steele is here with us along with naveed jamali. ken, i want to start with you. how unusual is it to get the chair of the intelligence committee in the house who is investigating the president and his campaign, go to the president and say, here is the evidence i found?
>> well, it's unprecedented, katy. the biggest question is these are documents that came from the executive branch. they're documents president trump could have ordered on his desk at any moment. there's real question why nunes did this and his apology hasn't mull fied many democrats today. you're hearing calls in the capital for an independent committee to investigate trump collusi collusion, a like an 9/11 investigation. oneore othe politics. our colleague mark murray discovered that the republican congressional campaign committee is already raising money based on nunes' comments yesterday. they're accepting up a fund-raiser with subject line trump spy confirmed. even devin nunes says that's not what occurred. it seems like some of this was done to appeal to a certain base that wants to believe that.
>> there's always a riff between the president and the intelligence community. is this is rift deepening now? is the gop party getting pulled into this as well when you see devin nunes go and speak to the president like that? >> yes, i mean, the short of it -- that's a simple answer. look, there's a fundamental lack of understanding between surveillance that's directed against a u.s. person and collection. look, the intelligence community routinely reads foreign press reports, listens to communication between world leaders, and they'll write up a product. that product may contain the word donald trump if it's in foreign press. that's not surveillance of a u.s. person. that means when you go to this sort of cypronet, secret level internet, type in donald trump you'll find products that contain donald trump. you don't have to mask that. that is not u.s. surveillance. my sense is that nunes was referring to reports or products like that, which, again, are not surveillance, not indicative of president obama ordering
surveillance. frankly, it's a big goof. i don't know why they're going down this road. >> there are calls for dev nunes, chair of the house intelligence committee to resign. the speaker's office sent me a statement saying, speaker ryan has full confidence chairman nunes is conducting a thorough, fair and credible investigation. michael, what's your take on that? >> well, i fully expect the speaker to say that. he's not going to throw the chairman under the bus in that regard. but i know that they're concerned about the way this appears. you know, sean makes the point, we don't know how he got here. you don't just show up at the white house. i'm sorry, if you're a chairman of a committee like that showing up -- >> you don't just say, hey, i was in the neighborhood, i wanted to stop by and say hi. >> yeah, drop off papers. it doesn't work like that. the credibility issue is what this committee is starting to suffer from right now. and that's why you have republicans like mccain and others looking at this and
going, you're pushing down a road where an independent counsel or independent review of this evidence and the facts may be necessary. so, apologies aside, i don't think it's going to be enough. really, the explanations fall really flat right now. this is wholly unexplainable why he did what he did, other than to give the president a heads up. >> is there any chance this committee, joel, can do a bipartisan investigation now? >> no, i don't thing so. i don't think it would have been the right way to do it anyway. i've heard democrats and republicans calling for a select committee. i don't think it was wise of speaker ryan to put out a statement. clearly, something smells rotten here. usually when something spells rotten, it is. he cpromed his own integrity, devin nunes and the committee. and for him to come out with a statement makes him look political and partisan, instead of stay out of the fray, get more facts and not make a decision or statement until you
need to. >> we're talking about the intelligence committee and we have someone on the intelligence committee joining us now. congressman carson of indiana. congressman, how do you feel about where your committee stands right now? are you confident that you guys can still conduct a bipartisan investigation? >> well, i think that the house intelligence committee is one of the most bipartisan committees in congress. i think we've done a good job so far in terms of getting the right folks before us and the american people and unearthing necessary truths. however, inc. because of the decision that was made by chairman nunes, it brought his judgment into question. i think if things get murkier, to congressman schiff's point, we should look at an objecttive body or person to review these matters much more deeply. >> congressman, what did chairman nunes tell you guys
earlier today when he came in and -- we heard he apologized for going to the white house before coming to you. >> this is true. he did apologize, to his credit. i think it was appropriate. historically both the chair and ranking members have worked together in a very -- in a very positive way and very meaningful way. and in terms of protocol, typically the chairman would notify the ranking member on either side of the aisle, if it were a democratic chair, he would notify the republican ranking. and so i give him credit for acknowledging the error because i think you can't find a finer ranking member than adam schiff. and it was the appropriate thing to do. the unfortunate part of all of this is that in a society where the electorate is already disillusioned, there's so much distrust of the bureaucracy, of elected officials, of administration, this doesn't help matters, especially as we're dealing with unearthing
multiple ties from the trump campaign, his administration, to the russian government, its deeply troubling. >> did the chairman tell you more than i'm sorry? what he learned, where it came from, how he came to it and why he felt it was necessary to talk to the white house before talking to the committee? >> what i'll say at this point is he issued an apology and it's sufficient. >> what about further than the apology. where did he get this information? >> well, what i will say, out of respect for what i do and out of respect for the committee is that he issued an apology and we'll go from there. >> are you confident he did not get this information from the white house? >> well, what i will say is that i think in terms of the cooperation that the committee has enjoyed between both the democrats and republicans and specifically the chair and ranking member, his actions were outside protocol and inappropriate. he acknowledged the error of his ways and it's time for us to move forward.
>> what do you say to those who want this to go to a select committee or special prosecutor? >> well, i think that -- as i've always said. if things get deeper, more murky, questionable, that's a direction we should consider and take. however, historically and up until this point, i think we've been able to really bring a lot of things to the surface that are necessary and has given a lot of comfort to the american people. we've gotten scores of calls from constituents in the state, outside of the state, in the district, outside of the district, saying, thank you, thank you, thank you, especially for the hearing that was held a few days ago. they're looking forward to the hearing in the next few days with former cia director brennan and former deputy director attorney general sally yates. they really feel comforted in what's happening right now. but i will say this, and as i've said before, director -- chairman nunes' actions have really widened the gap that
exists right now. >> indiana congressman carson, democratic member of the house intelligence committee. thank you, sir. >> thank you. and that wraps things up for me this hour. i'm katy tur. kate snow picks things up. >> nice to see you. good afternoon. i'm kate snow. this is it, seven years in the making. it is judgment day for obamacare or not. the chairman of the house freedom caucus says no deal, which could be the kiss of death for the bill. last hour press secretary sean spicer at the white house said they're so confident it will pass, they don't even have a plan "b." this hour we expect to hear from the architect of the republican health care plan, house speaker paul ryan, holding a press conference in about half an hour from now. of course, we'll have that live for you. so, what are the chances this thing gets passed today? our projections and the backdoor wheeling and dealing coming up. plus, he's calling it a judgment call. house intel chair republican congressman devin nunes apologizing for not briefing his democratic counterpart